- a heavy, broad-bladed knife or long-bladed hatchet, especially one used by butchers for cutting meat into joints or pieces.
- a person or thing that cleaves.
Origin of cleaver
Examples from the Web for cleaver
A hunter comes across a sickly gorilla, too weak to defend itself from the blows of his cleaver.Already Deadly in Africa, Could Ebola Hit America Next?
April 5, 2014
Politico reported that a man had been arrested for allegedly spitting at Cleaver, but the congressman refused to press charges.Democrats Have Maxed Out the Race Card
December 17, 2013
Rather than rationalize the tax code, or reform entitlements, the government has taken a cleaver to discretionary spending.A Debt Deal Won’t Save Us
October 15, 2013
Gun ownership is tightly controlled in China, where mass attacks usually involve men with a knife, cleaver, or machete.Not Just Sandy Hook: China’s Terrifying Knife Attacks
December 15, 2012
As Cleaver put it, the caucus “is always hesitant to criticize the president.”Why Don’t Black Leaders Demand More of the President?
September 24, 2012
The blows which she dealt with her cleaver reminded her of Marjolin.The Fat and the Thin
Will you land on Cleaver Island, or will you get into that boat?Breaking Away
Heavens, Steve, that cleaver of yours is a frightful thing in action!Spacehounds of IPC
Edward Elmer Smith
Oh, because Isabel made him believe that it would not be fair to Miss Cleaver.Isabel Leicester
One night he went for his wife with the cleaver and she had to sleep in a neighbour's house.Dubliners
- a heavy knife or long-bladed hatchet, esp one used by butchers
Word Origin and History for cleaver
late 15c., "one who splits," agent noun from cleave (v.1). Originally "one who splits boards with a wedge instead of sawing;" attested as part of a surname from mid-14c. Meaning "butcher's chopper" is from mid-15c.
This last ["Marrowbones and Cleaver"] is a sign in Fetter Lane, originating from a custom, now rapidly dying away, of the butcher boys serenading newly married couples with these professional instruments. Formerly, the band would consist of four cleavers, each of a different tone, or, if complete, of eight, and by beating their marrowbones skilfully against these, they obtained a sort of music somewhat after the fashion of indifferent bell-ringing. When well performed, however, and heard from a proper distance, it was not altogether unpleasant. ... The butchers of Clare market had the reputation of being the best performers. ... This music was once so common that Tom Killigrew called it the national instrument of England. [Larwood & Hotten, "The History of Signboards from the Earliest Times to the Present Day," London, 1867]
- A bifacial stone tool flaked to produce a straight, sharp, relatively wide edge at one end. Cleavers are early core tools associated primarily with the Acheulian tool culture.